The association between psychological distance and construal level: evidence from an implicit association test

  • Bar-Anan Y
  • Liberman N
  • Trope Y
  • 1

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Abstract

According to construal level theory (N. Liberman, Y. Trope, & E. Stephan, in press; Y. Trope & N. Liberman, 2003), people use a more abstract, high construal level when judging, perceiving, and predicting more psychologically distal targets, and they judge more abstract targets as being more psychologically distal. The present research demonstrated that associations between more distance and higher level of construal also exist on a pure conceptual level. Eight experiments used the Implicit Association Test (IAT; A. G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee, & J. L. K. Schwartz, 1998) to demonstrate an association between words related to construal level (low vs. high) and words related to four dimensions of distance (proximal vs. distal): temporal distance, spatial distance, social distance, and hypotheticality. In addition to demonstrating an association between level of construal and psychological distance, these findings also corroborate the assumption that all 4 dimensions of psychological distance are related to level of construal in a similar way and support the notion that they all are forms of psychological distance

Author-supplied keywords

  • Association
  • Concept Formation
  • Distance Perception
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Paired-Associate Learning
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time
  • Research
  • Semantics
  • Social Distance
  • Support
  • Theories
  • Time Perception
  • psychology

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Authors

  • Y Bar-Anan

  • N Liberman

  • Y Trope

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